One of the reasons so many parents bed-share with their baby in spite of the potential dangers is that they have a difficult time getting their baby to sleep in a crib. Here are some suggestions that might help ease this process along:
- Use the crib for daytime naps, and make sure your wind-down ritual involves getting her to settle down in her crib, not in your arms. When she falls asleep, day or night, try to move her to her crib. If she cries and fusses, sit down (at eye level if possible) and gently rub her belly or head, but don’t pick her up again.
- If she still isn’t asleep, whisper your goodnight and leave. If she cries, don’t rush back in – give it 5 minutes and then repeat the same ritual until she falls asleep.
- Consider temporarily moving the crib to your bedroom (if it isn’t there already) to help your baby adjust. Once she’s gotten more used to it, move the crib back to her bedroom.
- Talk and sing to her softly on the baby monitor. It might help calm her enough so that she drifts off to sleep without you being in the room.
- If your baby is old enough (at least 6 to 8 months, when the risk of SIDS has declined substantially) consider adding a personal item of yours to the crib, such as a small stuffed animal or blanket that you’ve slept with for several nights so that it has your scent. This helps many babies feel safe and secure and may help them get to sleep.
- Try leaving the door open to the nursery and see if that makes a difference.